The Joy of Playing Games: A Grand/Parents’ Guide

The Joy of Playing Games: A Grand/Parents’ Guide

Zingo with a Twist!

As a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), I am forever looking for new ways to introduce SLP goals and objectives through play.

The art of playing is powerful and valuable, both for grand/parents and SLPs.

“We work hard at playing because a child’s work is to play!” Photo: CCC

Adults often ask me to teach them how to play successfully with their children. They explain they can work on the alphabet, names of colors, and “academic” activities, but feel uncomfortable “playing”.

Therefore, in an effort to offer some suggestions, I wrote “The Art of Playing”.

However,  my SLP friends and I decided it would help if I created a blog section, The Art of Playing, to share some of the ways to “twist” each game a bit and add some flexibility!

This SLP plays games, both to have fun and to “teach”. And, I encourage all those that I mentor through Children’s Communication Center to do the same.

Here is a question frequently posed to those of us in the field of pediatric Speech-Language Pathology.

Why is Your Office Filled with Games?

First let’s discuss why SLPs adorn their work space with games as some of the important tools of our trade.

Games promote a wide array of Language (e.g., oral, written and social), Literacy (e.g., emerging up to reading directions and game cards), and Learning (e.g., strategies,  vocabulary & concepts, and problem solving). Let’s not forget the Life Lessons!

  • Sustained attention
  • Turn-taking
  • Waiting
  • Patience
  • Shared experiences
  • Social interaction
  • Listening skills
  • Following directions and rules
  • Flexibility in thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Perseverance
  • Sportsmanship
  • Sequencing
  • Linguistic concepts
  • Relaxation
  • Cooperation
  • Motivation
  • Creativity
  • Fun with family and friends

In the case of Zingo, not only do I play the traditional way, but I also like to change it up.

Zingo with a Twist! Photo:CCC/LSG

On this particular day, we finished the game and then sorted the tiles into categories.

First, the child should decide what categories are represented in the tiles. Because cookies are a food and can be heart-shaped, that was allowed. But on another day, the heart may find itself in the category of shapes.

I also took the opportunity to teach  the concepts of columns and rows and least and most.

All and all, fun (and learning) filled the room from start to finish!

Watch for more game fun!